Societal Impacts of Storm Damage

In Barry Gardiner, Andreas Schuck, Mart-Jan Schelhaas, Christophe Orazio, Kristina Blennow & Bruce Nicoll (eds.), Living with Storm Damage to Forests. European Forest Institute. pp. 70-78 (2013)
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Wind damage to forests can be divided into (1) the direct damage done to the forest and(2) indirect effects. Indirect effects may be of different kinds and may affect the environ- ment as well as society. For example, falling trees can lead to power and telecommunica- tion failures or blocking of roads. The salvage harvest of fallen trees is another example and one that involves extremely dangerous work. In this overview we provide examples of different entities, services, and activities that may be affected by wind damage to for- ests. We illustrate how valuation of the damage depends on the perspective applied and how the affected entities, services, and activities may represent different types of values. Finally we suggest means for how to actively manage the risk in an ethically sustainable way. Many of our examples will be drawn from the experiences of the wind damage Gudrun in southern Sweden on 8–9 January 2005. The direct as well as indirect effects, which are described, are by no means unique to the Gudrun wind damage event and similar or even worse effects have been described after the wind damage events Martin and Lothar in 1999, and Klaus in 2009.
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